Price comparison group accuses Google of favoring Google Shopping

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

E-Commerce Media - a Brazilian group that holds price comparison websites BuscaPé and Bondfaro - has issued a formal complaint with the country's justice ministry against Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), news source Convergência Digital reported.

E-Commerce Media is accusing Google of artificially favoring its own price comparison service, Google Shopping, in its search engine. The company claims that only Google Shopping is allowed the right to display product images and to provide evaluations, comments, number of stores and even prices in the search engine's results.

Google Shopping, launched in Brazil in early October, has since appeared in the top positions in Google's search and in non-sponsored links, which has lead to E-Commerce's concerns regarding manipulation of the search engine algorithm.

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The complaint has been forwarded to the ministry's economic law department, SDE.

According to the report, SDE will ask Google to respond within two weeks. The company has declined to comment, saying it has yet to be formally notified of the case.